Savory sauteed mushrooms and thyme tossed in a bright shallot vinaigrette and served over warm creamy ricotta cashew cream creates a satisfying winter salad.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 – 7 cups salad
In a medium pot, add parsnips and ¾ cup of the whole roasted and salted cashews, and cover with an inch of water. Cover and turn heat to high and boil until parsnips are fork tender, about 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, make a shallot vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together chopped shallots, balsamic vinegar, honey, and soy sauce. Set to the side.
In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat until sizzling hot. Add the remaining ¼ cup cashews, fresh thyme, and mushrooms in a single layer (in two batches, if needed, so they don’t steam). Sear without disturbing for about 3 minutes or until nicely browned, then stir and repeat browning on the other side. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Repeat the process with any remaining mushrooms. Return the full batch of mushrooms to the skillet and stir to combine. Lower the heat, add radicchio, and cook until slightly wilted. Pour the shallot vinaigrette over this mixture and cook for another minute, stirring well. Remove skillet from heat and adjust seasonings and acidity to taste.
In the bowl of a food processor or blender, whip the ricotta. Add the parsnip mixture and mix until combined. With the motor running, add 1 – 2 tablespoon olive oil in a thin stream and process until the mixture is smooth and creamy, adding more olive oil if needed. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
To serve, spread an even layer of whipped ricotta on a large platter or individual plates, getting close to the edges so some of it will peek out. Top with the warm mushroom mixture and garnish with thyme leaves. Serve warm or at room temperature.